Why Amina Mohamed Lost Bid for AU top Job


    Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has lost her bid for the AU chairperson job to Moussa Faki Mahamat from Chad.

    The highly contested African Union Chairmanship position had attracted three other candidates namely:

    • Pelonomi Venson- Moitoi-Botswana’s foreign minister
    • Agapito Mba Mokuy-Equatorial Guinea foreign minister
    • Bathily Abdoulaye-a Senegalese who is a special UN envoy for Central Africa.

    Several theories have been put forward to explain why Ms. Mohamed lost, some are true others not.

    First, many have speculated that the elections were an Anglophone versus Francophone affair.

    A few days before the elections, some people have predicted that Amina would lose since her successor, Dlamini-Zuma, was from South Africa, an Anglophone.

    Ms. Zuma took over the chairperson position from Jean Ping from Guinea, a Francophone.

    It has been speculated that traditionally, the position is rotated between the Anglophone and Francophone members.

    Kenya’s position on the International Criminal Court exit has also been quoted as a possible factor for her loss.

    Amina Mohamed had publicly criticized the ICC and this did not sit well with those that support the Hague-based court.

    This is seen as a possible reason that Amina could have lost.

    Some analysts have also alleged that Amina lacks the experience to deal with serious security matters.

    Faki may have been seen as a suitable candidate since he is a former Chadian prime minister and is currently serving as the foreign affairs minister.

    He is serving at a time when Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, is fighting Boko Haram.

    He has also served a senior position at the AU since he was the chairman of Economic, Social, and Cultural Council.

    Those in support Faki used his experience to lobby for votes from leaders who were undecided.

    Another reason is the lack of support from Kenya’s allies.

    Uganda did not vote in favor of Kenya and while its’ decision can be seen as a strategy to deny Chad the 2/3 majority, a section of Kenyan leaders have not taken this kindly.

    Although some people have speculated that gender could have played a part. A senior AU official downplayed such an allegation in an interview with Aljazeera.

    Whether her gender influenced the outcome is; hence, not clear.

    Local Leaders’ Views

    Speaking to journalists, Amina Mohamed attributed her loss to divisions in Africa.

    She was quick to point out that Kenya is surrounded by deceptive people and that this is a factor that should be taken into consideration the next time it lobbies for support.

    Majority Leader of the National Assembly Aden Duale was quick to point out that there were some cartels that did not want to see a Kenyan hold the top AU job.

    Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka stated that the widespread corruption in Kenya was a factor that prevented Ms. Amina from getting the top AU job.

    Social media, especially Twitter, become a platform for conspiracy theorists.

    The hashtags #AminaDDay and #WhyAminaLost were used to air tweeps’ opinions about the outcome of the AU elections.

    While some were sad about the loss, others were savage and satirized the situation.

    Below are a few tweets:

    1) @vinmokaya: Q: Why did Amina Mohamed lose?

    A: There was no manual back up. #AminaDDay

    2) @kentezy: There is no way the government could sacrifice the country’s resources at the expense of drought and expect to win. God is merciful Amina Mohamed.

    3) Amina Mohammed didn’t Lose. Jubilee LOST. Kenya didn’t Lose. Jubilee LOST. Kenyans Won, Africa Won. Impunity Lost! #WhyAminaLost #AminaDDay

    4) #AdviceForAmina Utazoea. That’s how millions of jobless youths feel every day #WhyAminaLost #AminaDDay #AminaSpeaks #NasaUnity

    Ambassador Amina is expected to continue serving as the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary.

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